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How LinkedIn’s Recruiting Team Became Data-Driven

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I recently sat down with Mary Price, who is at LinkedIn as their Head of Talent Acquisition for Marketing and Sales Solutions in the Americas and Head of Talent Acquisition for LATAM. Mary has quite the career in people facing roles, and she shared with us some powerful insights and strategies as to how LinkedIn infuses data into the way they’re recruiting top talent and beyond. Below are a few takeaways from our conversation.

Become a Talent Acquisition Business Partner:
While we’re changing people’s lives and building that personal connection, we’re also moving the needle internally. It’s up to us to change the time it takes to fill positions, close the gap on how long it takes to ramp a new employee, build pipelines for high volume roles, and it’s ultimately up to talent acquisition to showcase our achievements and strategic plans through data. Mary sat down with a few other LinkedIn leaders to look through their hiring processes and how they could improve and collaborate better with hiring managers and recruiting. By making tweaks here and there, looking at data, and finding out where the bottlenecks were, her team was able to reduce their time-to-hire for specific roles by 14 days, and overhire in preparation for the new year.

In addition to reducing time-to-hire, Mary shared an example of a hiring manager looking for a complete unicorn of a candidate. By running a search on the total addressable market, she was able to go back to the hiring manager with data on how many of those unicorns are actually out there in the market, how many unicorns it would take, and how long it would take her to find said unicorn. Through this data and search, she was able to work with the hiring manager on a set of realistic expectations for this role

Through using their applicant tracking system (ATS) to track candidate activity from the top of the funnel all the way down, Mary and the LinkedIn team have a great way to tell a story and help set expectations with hiring managers and business leaders. By having an anchor in data, recruiters have access to power the direction of their company.

Embrace Being a Professional Matchmaker
Most people fall into recruiting, it isn’t something that is usually planned, but with the right mix of people skills and analytical thinking, it just happens. To be a successful recruiter, there needs to be a mutual love for matchmaking and working with people along with an understanding of the business. When positions go unfilled, organizations lose money. Filling those open roles is instrumental in helping the company grow to reach that next step. Mary brought up a great story when she was having some difficulty filling an open position. She had sent over 19 candidates to a hiring manager, but it wasn’t until she saw the in-person interactions the candidates had with other members of the team that she actually made the hire. She needed to embrace the qualitative, gut feelings of being a professional matchmaker.

“I think that our job as a recruiter is to know that team, to truly know that team, and to be able to speak to the strengths and personalities of that team. So that when you’re hiring for that empty spot, you’re helping round out that team. And I don’t know if you can do that if you don’t truly know that team and don’t really know those candidates.”

AI and Automation, Not Just Buzzwords
If you look at everything that takes up most of recruiters time, it’s top of funnel activity. Using a platform that has automation built in, recruiters are now able to hire and onboard quickly, while getting the right people in the right positions. Between efficient scheduling of interviews, effectively being able to communicate with the candidate, hiring manager, and entire team, and then onboarding new hires efficiently in a timely manner – automation is a necessity. When it comes to AI, it’s definitely something everyone is paying attention to. AI will be sprinkled throughout the recruiting process, from virtual assistants to candidate ranking, it’s something all talent acquisition professionals should be paying attention to. However, Mary had a great point, ‘it’s a balance of art and science’ – we’re in an industry that will always need a human aspect, there is no machine or algorithm that will ever be able to replace or even match the work of recruiters.

Check out the full chat between Mary and me, and you’ll hear many more of her insights on how to drive data into your recruiting, underutilized tools that your team should be using, such as video screening candidates, and how to encourage your team to share their stories and voice to build your team into recruiting thought leaders.


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